What is Healthy Dog Food?
Updated: Mar 5
The human population has more pets today than ever before. More is spent on pampered pets; costumes, beds, toys, carriers and really unnecessary items are a multi-billion dollar industry. Everything to make your pet look cool and cared for, yet the most astounding aspect of this is the lack of interest in what goes into your pet.
Rules have been changed over the years; domestic animals now must be microchipped and vaccinated to infinity just to be kenneled, sold or registered, with no thought to their actual health. But this is not about that issue, which is no different to this topic being raised in my other articles concerning the deliberate destruction of our health and liberties.
The healthy living movement has in general, overlooked putting the same attention into their animal friends. Many people of faith see animals as some sub-standard possession that needs no special care. The mere fact that even veterinarians are usually meat and dairy eaters, shows such a disconnect between species, one has to wonder what "I love animals" means. Thankfully, there is an ethical animal health industry, albeit a very slow moving one.
So, what is in your dog's food?
Well, mostly waste. If you feed your dogs meat and fish products, they are usually the killing-room floor discards, not fit for human consumption (not that any of it is anyway but let's not go there). What makes up the dog logs and tinned food? Bonemeal, eyeballs, offal, skin, hair, feathers and blood (ie if you read your ingredients list 'by-product' is the euphemism) are a portion, offering little nutritional content. But meat makes up a small portion of the pet food. GMO soy waste, GMO corn waste, GMO wheat and other grains like sorghum which are largely indigestible not only because our grains are no longer sprouted prior to drying, as in ancient days, plant cellulose is the highest portion of content - great for bulking up the bowel but zero nutrients. Even pharmaceuticals such as pentobarbital which is the chief drug used in horse, cat and dog euthanasia can be found in commercial pet food.
What does this mean?
One might believe someone has sabotaged pet food. Not so. The ugly truth is that horse, dog or even cat meat is found in pet food - even pets. The fact that there are actually laws in place banning food for pet or human consumption proves something is drastically wrong. One can only wonder how the bodies of domestic pets even find their way into the mix.
Have you not noticed something very strange about dog food?
Meat-free dog food is vilified as cruel and insufficient to provde all your dog needs, yet not even vets take note or understand what a pet actually needs by way of nutrients, so long as the writing on the promotional blurb tells them it is nutritional or vet-recommended, it is approved. In truth, pet foods have NOTHING resembling what a wild dog would eat. When did you last see a dog chase down a fish, or cow, or lamb, or pig, or horse and eat it, bones, hooves, skin, offal, hair scales and all? All of these are found in commercial pet food - and most people, if meat-free pet food is suggested, would laugh at the thought of any high nutrient pet food that just happens to be free of all these ingredients. We have domesticated them into eating species they would never eat, along with waste they would never eat.
And along the way, helped them develop human disease.
This goes for 'quality' and 'veterinary grade' pet food as well. It really is all about money. And what of those cheap 'rawhide' type dog snacks you can buy in dollar stores and even pet shops? Thousands of dogs have died from kidney failure, after consuming dog treats laced with melamine, a glue-like plastic powdered filler also used in infant formula. Recalls may save lives but the truth is that most pet food is rubbish. But hey, the blurb says they are healthy for your pet; THAT is okay then!
Most pet foods have high levels of pesticides, pharmaceuticals and irradiation.
So, what can you do? Well, a lot, actually, IF you want to make the effort. It need not cost a lot, but it does take time and energy. There are a very small number of (quite expensive) natural, organic and healthy pet food ranges out there. But have you considered making your own? Vitally healthy plant based recipes which not only help your pets to thrive, but no other species will suffer so your pet can live. Yes, you can buy this type of pet food made commercially but sadly most of it is no better nutritionally at least, than the usual fare. V-Dog would be my favourite, however I am sure if you do your research (ie read labels) you may find something suitable and affordable.
There are MANY variations, but use these recipes as a general guideline and watch your dog's health and life turn around. These recipes provide an exponentially wider range of vital nutrients - usually deficient, or altogether missing from modern day dog food.
SOFT FOOD MIX (similar consistency to canned food)
This makes a LOT so you can adjust or just freeze into containers and defrost the evening before - we only give this one at night time feed. Try to use organic ingredients, or at the least, unsprayed and non GMO, With the vegetables, be sure to wipe them down but do not peel as the peels contain the bacteria needed to make B12 and other nutrients they would get in the wild.
1 cup each brown lentils, chickpeas, buckwheat, brown rice, dried green peas
1/2 cup each flaxseeds/linseeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds
1 cup each small dice sweet potatoes or pumpkin, carrots, zucchini, beetroot
6 small vegetable (onion-free - we use Massells 7s 'beef' flavoured) stock cubes OR 1/2 cup yeast spread (vegemite, marmite, promite, vegespread, etc - or soy sauce)
[Optional - 1 cup peanut butter (they LOVE it)]
Either 1 kilo bag of frozen mixed vegetables or a kilo of fresh diced vegetables of your choice
1 cup yeast flakes for cheese flavour
1/2 cup dried parsley flakes
1 block firm organic tofu or okara, diced finely for protein
1/2 cup brewer's yeast for B vitamins
1/2 cup chlorella or kelp flakes for minerals and nutrients
1/4 cup pink or sea salt for minerals
1 loose cup torn nori sheets (if not using kelp)
1 cup psyllium husks/powder (sets the food and provides bulk to help with appetite and bowel cleansing)
In one pot, overnight soak equal parts lentils, chickpeas, buckwheat, brown rice and dried peas.
In another pot, soak equal parts flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, in an equal volume of water (3 cups).
Small dice 1 cup each of sweet potatoes (skin on), carrots, zucchini, beetroot. Roast or steam until soft. We roast in winter and it gives a stronger flavour, and steam in summer just to keep kitchen heat down.
Meanwhile in a very large stock pot cook up the soaked pulses, with 6 small stock cubes or vegemite (or similar). Here, you can also add a cup of peanut butter as they love it but this is up to you. Be sure to not cook too soft that they turn to mush. When they are nearly cooked, add a kilo bag of either mixed frozen vegetables or make your own (diced carrots, peas, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, etc). Just until barely cooked. Allow everything to cool and combine in a large pot with the dried parsley, nutritional yeast, diced tofu, brewer's yeast, chlorella or kelp powder, pink salt, a cup of torn sheets of nori (if not already using kelp) and to soak up excess water and make into a firm mould like dog food, stir in the seed mix. Leave to sit until set and put into containers to freeze, taking out each night to defrost - serve as you would usuall with soft dog food.
NOTE: We also add probiotic powder every few days and raw vegetables as snacks during the day while cooking. Every few days also, we sprinkle with a high nutrient powder which they LOVE.
HIGH PROTEIN SNACKAH BIKKIES - treats and a few with each morning feed depending on appetite.
1/2 cup each nutritional yeast, chia seeds, linseeds/flaxseeds, sunflower se eds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup ground charcoal (optional)
1/4 cup spirulina or kelp powder
Either 1 cup of okara or small block silken tofu
1 cup mashed sweet potato
2 cups buckwheat flour
2 cups chickpea flour
1 cup tapioca
5 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons vegemite or 3 small stock cubes
2 tablespoons brewer's yeast
1 tablespoon Himalayan salt or sea salt
[Optional - 2 heaped tablespoons peanut butter]
These are SO easy to make and taste so good the kids even sneak them once cooled down.
Overnight, soak nutritional yeast, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut - by adding 1 cup water for each cup of dry ingredients.
Next day carefully mix in all other ingredients by hand. Surprisingly, the flour will continue to mix in well. Keep adding until soft biscuit mix consistency. Dust the bench with tapioca and using about a cupful of the mix at a time, form into a ball, dust with the flour and put aside until all the dough is used.
One by one, gently mould each ball into a long snake and cut into small biscuit sized pieces. Place close to each other on a baking tray and bake at 180C for about an hour until dry and lightweight but not rock hard (although this makes it more fun for them). They become light like crackers if they are cooked long enough. When you take them out they should have no soft centre or springy texture - they should be a little hard but not rock cakes. The dogs will still love them even so, but for small or old dogs it's not ideal.
I split this into two lots once COMPLETELY cooled and freeze half - Store in old sealable dog biscuit bags and use as treats or a handful with meals along with bikkies and soft dog food and raw vegetable slices such as broccoli or cauliflower stalks, sweet potato, pumpkin (and seeds), etc.
NOTE: You can mix up the seeds and nuts in the recipes by adding other fresh seeds you may find - crushed peanuts/almonds/cashews, sesame seeds, white beans, washed quinoa, etc. The trick is to be sure to add lots of complex amino acids so the dogs can make their own protein (which is what we all should be doing). It all seems complex but you would honestly take a few hours each fortnight to make it up in bulk. It seems a bit fiddly to initially set up the ingredients but they are pretty much what we should all eat anyway other than a few minor ingredients. And you can buy them in bulk at Indian stores and Asian grocers, or bulk dried goods stores. The biscuits clean their teeth well and their bowel actions are awesome.
* Contrary to popular (paid) opinion, non GMO, organic soy is NOT going to affect hormones, nor is it toxic. And dogs LOVE it.
Additional to your dog's healthy diet please give eggs regularly - they love them!
An alternative to bones is washed horse hoof trimmings
What about supplements?
Great question; one that should be asked. In a modern world of environmental toxins, where our water, air and soil are toxic, our houses are toxic, food is toxic and the stresses of everyday living can prematurely age a dog, dedicated supplementation and even health treatments are a must. Many of the ingredients in the recipes are supplements in their own right but if you are concerned, here are some of my favourites which I have witnessed amazing results both clinically and personally -
Superfood powder mix:
Make in advance & store in a large glass jar-
1/4 cup each of:
Ground dried chamomile flowers
Ground dried hemp seeds
1 tablespoon each of:
Ground coriander seed
Ground dried mint leaves
Ground dried basil leaves
Every few days, sprinkle over their soft food and mix in -
1 teaspoon (large dogs)
1/2 teaspoon (medium dogs)
1/4 teaspoon (small dogs)
1 pinch (puppies)
All of the above can be purchased at bulk wholefoods or most health stores. Please note that due to the colour of the plants, your dog's droppings will be a different colour to those of other dogs - especially due to the turmeric, beetroot and spirulina. There is no cause for alarm as these are natural colours and would have the same effect on humans.
Now watch your dog SHINE.